April 01st, 2015
Woodcocks 'sky dancing' in the Preserve
On Monday, March 30, from the edge of the Eagle Heights Community Gardens, Roma Lenehan heard at least three American Woodcock giving their peent call from around Biocore Prairie. At least two of them were “sky dancing” over the open area (prairie and gardens). According to Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac) “the show begins the first warm evening in April at exactly 6:50” (7:50" now) and begins one minute later each day. According to Leopold, the display begins at a light intensity of 0.05 foot candles. During the day, Glenda Denniston has flushed a Woodcock at least twice in the last two weeks of March at the edge of Frautschi Point, near the second oak and the gully.
Although the display at the Arboretum continues for weeks, in the Preserve the Woodcock display has only been observed a few times a year. Are these migrant birds only here for a short time, or are there not enough people looking for them? Please let us know if you continue to observe the Woodcock displaying in the Preserve.
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Gisela Kutzbach and contributors